Beckham: Ferguson behind players' longevity

Sir Alex Ferguson's philosophy is behind the longevity of Manchester United's homegrown players, says Paris Saint-Germain midfielder David Beckham.

The former England captain and United player is still active at 37, having joined PSG on a five-month loan at the end of January.

Former team-mate Phil Neville, 36, plays at Everton and the 39-year-old Ryan Giggs, who started his youth career at Manchester City but ended it at United, is still at Old Trafford after signing his first professional contract there in 1990.

"The majority of the Manchester United players who started in the mid 1990s - Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and I - are still on the pitch," Beckham told French sports daily L'Equipe on Friday.

Butt and Gary Neville have recently started coaching careers at United and England respectively but Scholes returned to the field in January 2012, eight months after calling it quits as he sought to help his club through an injury crisis.

"I think it is because Sir Alex Ferguson showed us the way when we were teenagers. He taught us to respect the game, to respect our body and to love what we do," Beckham said.

"For now, Ryan Giggs is the one who has been furthest [in his career]. He continues to play at the highest level and he does not seem to want to stop. But in the end, maybe it will be me [who will quit last]," he said.

Beckham started his professional career at United in 1993 and left to join Real Madrid in 2003.


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